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Grateful Dead Live at Fillmore Auditorium on 1966-07-17

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Grateful Dead Live at Fillmore Auditorium on 1966-07-17

Track 01: Big Boss Man (04:44.820)
Track 02: Standing On The Corner (03:26.270)
Track 03: Beat It On Down The Line [7] (03:32.418) >
Track 04: > In The Pines (04:54.155)
Track 05: Cardboard Cowboy (03:27.489)
Track 06: Nobody's Fault But Mine (04:06.135)
Track 07: The Next Time You See Me (03:40.836)

Collection GratefulDead
Band/Artist Grateful Dead
Venue Fillmore Auditorium
Location San Francisco, CA

Source SBD > RTR @ 15 I.p.s. > PCM > D > SSSB
Transferred by Jay Serafin


Uploaded exclusively to by:
John "Jay" Serafin, owner/audio engineer @ Serafin Station Studio B
"Making Kindness Dubs For Everyone!"
No Profits Or Copyright Infringements EVER!
Web Info:


It's REALLY AMAZING that I find a LOT of 1966-68 shows which sound better than a lot of the 1970's reel to reel-originated shows, and even a lot of the early PCM shows. NOTE: When PCM was first made available on the commercial market, it was only limited to 8 bit quality sound, and would only work with certain Sony BetaMax videocassette decks. As time and technology grew, the PCM units became easier to use, they would work will almost ANY VCR (be it VHS or the now-dying BetaMax formats)... and finally they were able to get 16-bit sound to work CORRECTLY around the mid-1980's.

But, a little known factoid about the sound quality: the Dead weren't always the ones who were setting up the RTR decks. The record companies were bringing in the Otari 2" 4 and 8 track decks which ran at a minimum of 15 i.p.s., and were able to be better calibrated to more brands and formulations of open reel tape. This is why a lot of these shows sound so pristine... but yet there were a lot of reel changes (when there weren't two RTR decks there... one to run, and the other on "standby" so that the recording could be started as the first deck began to run out of tape! So, this is why some shows literally have no gaps where the reels were changed!

It is my understanding that for this show, a single Otari 4 track 1" wide tape running at 7.5 i.p.s. was used. Some of the songs from this Fillmore run were going to be used as promos, and possibly as a live album early on. The record companies were REALLY hot on the Dead, and they wanted the Boyz to also try new songs to see how they would be received by the audience, as well as how they would sound live. Hence, "one-offs" like In The Pines, Cardboard Cowboy, were played, and then evaluated by the record companies.

The PCM archive tape is deteriorating, as can be heard in the left (vocals) channel (only). On very loud vocal peaks, you can just hear a very slight distortion. It's not really as bad as it look "in print", but it can be heard. Again, it's only during the loudest vocals, and not on any of the instruments (right channel). This is a problem inherent to ALL tape-based media, in that it will deteriorate over time. Thank goodness that the Vault is very regulated as far as it's climate, air quality and purity, and that a lot of shows are being re-archived onto non-tape-based media.

In The Pines and Cardboard Cowboy are FIRST / LAST / ONLY TIMES PLAYED songs. In The Pines is good, a song of sorrow. But Cardboard Cowboy, I can live without. It just doesn't "make it" with me. Other people like it, maybe because it's very rare to hear a good quality copy of it, or to even hear it at all, or just because it's a Dead song... who knows?!?!?

The entire show had an "energy" to it, but not a very high level. There weren't any real between-song lulls like we've come to expect, and sometimes it can be heard when the guitars are slightly out of tune (and adjusted during the songs). Bobby is pretty prominent in the mix, Pig's organ is really present (no dirty jokes, please!), but Jerry's guitar, depending on the song and how attentive the engineers were at any point in time, was either present, low volume (being picked up by the other instrument microphones nearby, or "invisible" for very short periods of time. It never ceases to amaze me that audio engineers, especially with the Dead and the Fillmore's own crew, who were excellent most of the time, could be so ignorant of the fact that things weren't right! But, that just makes the show all that much more interesting, I would imagine!

This is the ENTIRE show... all songs are included, so you get the "feel" of how things were played back then. Short sets, a lot of bands for the evening, nothing like what we've been accustomed to for the past 20 years. I personally did see a few of these "huge number of artists" shows back in my early days, and it had a circus-like atmosphere sometimes. Depending on who was playing, everyone shared everyone else's amps, drum sets, etc. Even the Dead did, though they would bring out quite a bit of their own equipment to supplement what was on stage. And there was only about 10-15 minutes between acts, so either you rushed to the washroom, or you "held it in" for 3-plus hours. The Fillmore did have a curfew, which USUALLY was enforced, but sometimes they would run over. Bill Graham always tried to orchestrate the start time of the shows so that every group got a pretty good amount of time, but there were a number of shows where some groups only got to play 3 or 4 songs, as the band(s) before them ran long, or the "headline" act(s) were going to play long.

As with the 7/16/66 show which I uploaded here, this show will fit onto a single 74-minute CD (in fact, you can put BOTH the 7/16/66 and 7/17/66 shows onto a single 74-minute CD with 2 minutes to spare!). NONE of the shows I upload to GDLive will ever require "overburning", as that goes against a number of industry standards (one being that the maximum allowable recording time be 76:14). And some people's equipment cannot play back correctly the 80 minute discs which are prevalent lately. Not to mention that unless your CD-R/RW recorder specifically is made to record 80 minute discs, there's going to be problems with the recording (it's technical, but the abbreviated version is that the stepping motor, which positions the recording laser, can only be positioned in certain designated spots, and cannot go "between" point A and point B on the disc... if it tries to, it can partially overwrite what has been already recorded onto the media).

Enjoy the show!

PERSONAL RATINGS: (on a 1 to 10 scale with 10 being excellent)
Audio Mix: 9.2 (Jerry's disappearing act is what lowered this rating)
Audio Quality: 9.7
Energy Level: 8.5
Show "Completeness": 10.0 (entire set)
Song Selection: For the time period, nothing out of the ordinary at all.
Surprises: In The Pines and Cardboard Cowboy


Reviewer: Satori70 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 17, 2015
Subject: As my patchwork world unravels, I travel much too high

Get your kicks in '66 ! Wow fantastic quality here. What a pleasure to hear such strong bouncy keys, and driving bass. I love that sound, and the way this thing bumps and thumps along. Already stated, but true rarities here 'In The Pines' & 'Cardboard Cowboy'. I love the way Cardboard Cowboy has like a spy villain sound to it. Like real 60's surf music. The lyrics are wonderful psychedelic imagery as well. Five stars for quality and rarity.

Happy 50th Grateful Dead !
Reviewer: njpg - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 10, 2015
Subject: 4
Reviewer: rschwz28 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 5, 2012
Subject: In The Pines, Cardboard Cowboy
In The Pines and Cardboard Cowboy were both played the previous night. And two weeks later they played Cardboard Cowboy.

I've never heard Nirvana's version of In The Pines, but I plan on checking it out. And I'll certainly be on the lookout for more GD performances - I love this song.
Reviewer: mrmojorisin - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 24, 2010
Subject: Diggin this exquisite recording of such an early show
I have recently decided to delve back into the origins of GD and found this little gem. What terrific quality! Pigpen kills it in this set. Wanted more from Jerry but all in all the show was good. In the Pines was a nice surprise. I actually have never heard GD perform In the Pines, only Nirvana. I am giving this show a 4 as it was lacking in some energy but hit every other mark, particularily sound quality and uniqueness. Thanks for this show Jay!
Reviewer: oh_uh_um_ah - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 18, 2009
Subject: The GRATEFUL DEAD "Live On Stage" July 17, 1966, at the Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco, CA, United States of America


Thank you Jay for explaining all that audio stuff for us. And thanks for sharing these precious shows of the GRATEFUL DEAD with my favorite band memeber Pigpen, I still miss him.

These shows keep him alive for all us fans. ALLIGATOR! Sorry, it slips out every once in a while.

IF you're a fan of Pigpen like I am, you're gonna want this show. Pigpen's organ playing can be easily heard, that signature west coast sound.

I highly recommend adding this show to your 1966 GRATEFUL DEAD collection.

I also recommend using your EQ during playback of most of the shows on the IA, this one included. Windows Media Player has a 10 band EQ and SRS WOW effects that enhance the sound.

1966, when LSD was not illegal.

Here's one way to download this show:

The IA recommends users of Windows XP view this web-page with RealPlayer.

RealPlayer is a free media player you can download at

Using RealPlayer to view this webpage, click the VBR M3U link to open the songs in the Playlist. If your Playlist is not open, open it by clicking the Playlist icon at the lower right hand corner of RealPlayer. Once the songs are in the Playlist, double click the song to play it, then click the record button at the lower left hand corner of Realplayer to record it.

When the red line reaches the other end click the stop button to download the song. Your song is in the RealPlayer Downloads folder. Repeat these steps for each song.

Eat, Drink, Be Merry and Listen to the GRATEFUL DEAD.

Thanks for the LOVE from 1966.

I miss 66'.

God bless all the people that made this available to the fans of the GRATEFUL DEAD. May their music live forever in the hearts and minds of their fans.
Reviewer: martinzimmer13 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 17, 2008
Subject: Cristal clear
I'm kind of scuba diving deeper and deeper into the early Dead stuff, and this is one good example why I'm right! Instruments cristal clear and really dividable, full sounding atmosphere as if I'm standing onstage, inbetween the musicians! ''Standing' - covered with the cream of one of Jerry's finest solos, 'Pines/Cardboard C.' - a rare gem twin, an active and moving bass underneath it all - short but truly fine material! U gonna load it!
Reviewer: Direwolfman - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 9, 2008
Subject: Good to see this stuff still being uploaded..
for our listening pleasure! Thanks Jay! A nice piece of history here with great quality sound from 1966!

Thank archive also!
info Stream Only
Stream playlist
( VBR )
In Collection
Grateful Dead
In Collection
Live Music Archive
Uploaded by
Matthew Vernon
on 3/6/2008
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